They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – but Grace Stead begs to differ.
The freelance drama practitioner has launched an over-50s drama group in Sheffield, which she hopes will give people a valuable creative outlet, as well as the opportunity to widen their social circle.
She is hoping to attract people with no experience and those who have been members of amateur societies in the past but became disillusioned with the lack of opportunities for mature actors.
Grace, of Stannington, said: “I’m taking it upon myself to combat loneliness from the inside and start creating theatre that will make people stand up, listen and think about the group of people which we make invisible.
“I’ve come across so many actors of a certain age who are resigned to playing ‘the doddery old man,’ or ‘the senile old woman.’
“Let’s face it - nobody in a traditional drama group is going to cast a 59-year-old as Sandy in Grease – but maybe they should!”
And 24-year-old Grace, who graduated from Liverpool University in 2011 with a drama degree, has far more in mind than simply acting for the group.
“I’d like this to become a real creative hub for any artistic outpouring. Writing, drawing, poetry, photography, shadow puppets – you name it. There are no limits here and I think that’s really exciting.”
Grace, who also works with youngsters, as well as with older people suffering with dementia, chose to launch the group after she became disillusioned with how many groups and clubs there are for young people compared to those for older people.
Grace added: “I’d love the chance to see what sort of ideas and interests people of this age have in Sheffield.”
The ‘creative’ sessions will be held every Tuesday at The Psalter pub on Psalter Lane, Sheffield, from 10am to 11.30am.